Peace Day (Sept. 21) is quickly approaching, and On Earth Peace is urging your congregation to participate in praying for peace and building a culture of peace this year. The Church of the Brethren holds the belief that creating and standing for peace is a duty of followers of Jesus, holding to verses like Romans 14:19, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
For 2015, On Earth Peace is inviting congregations or community groups to develop a Peace Day prayer event designed around what is going on in our world and in your own communities. A series of questions to consider in your planning are posted online at http://peacedaypray.tumblr.com/post/123476541952
We encourage each group to develop a local prayer focus, based on the specific concerns your own community is experiencing related to violence and injustice. Sample topics: challenging military recruitment, working for reconciliation across divided communities, challenging exclusion, resisting war and occupation, caring and advocating for refugees, challenging gun violence, praying for healing after a local shooting, celebrating the Black Lives Matter movement, praying for our sisters and brothers in the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN), and praying for the Israel/Palestine conflict. Pick topics closest to your members' hearts, and spotlight unresolved conflicts in your own community.
When your group or congregation has selected a local theme and started to make plans, please share them with our new Facebook group: OEP-PeaceDay .
If you have any questions or would like guidance or conversation as you develop Peace Day activities or themes, send an email to peaceday@OnEarthPeace.org .
Peace Day Facebook group
We are also excited to announce that this year we have created a new space for organizers and participants of Peace Day to congregate; our Facebook group OEP-PeaceDay.
Here is where you will find all relevant and necessary information regarding this year’s campaign for peace. We strongly encourage everybody to join, and participate by frequently updating us on your Peace Day 2015 plans. It is our hope that you will find this group to be an uplifting online community where ideas can be shared and developed. Consider posting about local, national, and global issues regarding peace.
Lectionary Texts for Sunday, Sept. 20, the day before Peace Day:
James 4: “Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.”
Mark 9: “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”
-- This article is reprinted from the On Earth Peace e-newsletter “Peace Builder.”